Support Our Work

We’ve made our goal, but it’s not too late to donate! Click on the link below to support Open Flame Theatre.

We made it!

Your support, both financial and in the form of all the kind messages left on our Facebook wall and our GoFundMe campaign page have touched me deeply. Asking for help, asking for people to believe in you, can be an incredibly difficult and vulnerable act, and I can’t tell you how heartened and affirmed I feel writing these words in this moment. 

Performance itself is also a vulnerable, intimate act. Choosing to share our personal journeys through these characters in this surreal world is an act of courage, which my fellow performers in Open Flame remind and inspire me to step up and show up for in every rehearsal. 

Rehearsal footage from The Garden shot by Ben Wolf.

Days before beginning this campaign, the Detroit-based, witch pop band Crune, made up of Walken Schweigert and Matthew Ryan Surline aka Ely with special guest Dave Sanders created a Very Special Ritual. VSR was an experimental and partial preview of The Garden, an exploration and public experiment of our research material. VSR was, for me, a truly transformational and incredible evening.

Filmed by Na Frenette

I want to thank Na Frenette for filming, Soundhouse for hosting this event, Matthew Ryan Surline for conceiving of the idea of the VSR, and Richard Newman (Co-Director of The Garden) for advising me in my performance process. I couldn’t be more excited to take The Garden to Detroit, my home away from home after it premieres at the Southern Theatre in Minneapolis on June 11th.

I will leave this here except to say once again how grateful I am for your support of our work, our process, and our stories. The work does not end here, and in fact we are smack in the middle of it now. With your help, we have met our goal and can bring you a phenomenally unique story made with all the passion our queer hearts can channel. 

Most sincerely,

Walken Schweigert
Artistic Director
Open Flame Theatre